My youngest child has been promoted to seventh grade. No longer will I walk the halls as a parent of a child attending the elementary each of my kids have spent so much of their childhood.
When my baby girl was in Kindergarten, her teacher made a point of pointing out my daughter’s writing examples saying, “your daughter has a gift.” While it’s true the writing examples were fun to read and were a little different from her peers, I thought it was a good teacher praising her student for the parent’s benefit. My ears perked up a bit when her first grade teacher made similar comments. I finally understood what her teachers were attempting to convey to me when her second grade teacher spelled it out in no uncertain terms: “Your daughter has a voice.” This teacher explained how second graders began exploring their writing in patterns, and she showed us examples of what pattern writing looks like for kids seven years old. Then she took several examples of my daughter’s writing, and, as the expression goes, I couldda had a V-8!”.
Writing became a hobby for my baby girl. She created worlds in Minecraft, and then wrote stories to accompany her creations. Sometime this past year, she got into writing fan fic. I’m surprised, delighted, and wow’d at my daughter’s ability to convey concepts, thoughts and ideas, using a style that is all her own.
When it comes to writing, showing is preferred over telling. Following is my daughter’s last elementary writing project: BioMe. I invite you to read her memoir.
Memoir of a Potato
By Rachel Showers
I take a deep breath. I was really nervous for the first day of school. I looked up at my mom as she held my and walked into class. I didn’t know what to think as people stared at me. She hugged me before walking out. I was scared.
Starting in kindergarten, my teacher was Mrs. Gergans. She was really nice and caring to everyone. This was the year I met my best friend, Nicole. She’s really nice and fun to hang out with. In kindergarten, we would take naps and do all sorts of things. I remember every ten days, Zero the Hero would visit us, and we would get cookies or marshmallows and whatnot. In that time, we did a lot of lively activities such as going to Sea World. My favorite activity was the Native American Day. We wore animal skin tops (actually we wore cut up paper bags), made pottery, and chased a “buffalo”. This was the year I broke my ankle from jumping off a bunk bed, and no one signed my cast (besides Mia Moala) because I’m forever alone.
We enjoyed a “snow” day where we dressed up for the “snow” in the middle of March. We made a gingerbread man, and it ran away, so the custodian “chased” it onto the roof. On St. Patrick’s Day, we made traps and got candy and (plastic) gold. We went to a dairy farm, and we ate fresh ice cream. There was also a little musical performance that we did, but I don’t remember the name of it.
I particularly favored first grade. This year, my teacher was Mrs. Balough. She was one of my favorite teachers because she would always be kind to the students and make sure everyone was happy. I was still best friends with Nicole, but I met some other people, too. Lauren(the Grammar Nazi), Riley Screaton, and Janae. They’re really nice, and I loved to be with all of them. That year, my grade went to the zoo, but I don’t remember much. This was the year we started math and reading, but I wasn’t good at it at first. We did a space project, where I think I did either Mars or Jupiter.
Second grade was really fun for me. My teacher was Mrs. Swann. I would describe her as someone who is diligent and interesting. I was in a combo class, so after lunch, I would go to Mrs. Wilkersons class to learn science. I didn’t really meet anyone new this year. I mostly just hung out with Janae, Nicole, and Lauren. This was the year we did the Patriot Play. I was the first to speak about the country. We also would get “Bunny Bucks” and get fun things to buy on Fridays.
Third grade was one of my least favorite years. My teacher, Mrs. El-hajj, was kinda mean to most of the students and yelled a lot. Besides the parts I didn’t like, I loved the pajama day/Christmas party. We made Christmas presents for our families, listened to music, and ate a lot of things that made my dentist mad. The theme for the third graders was Disney. We did a lot of activities for it, like when it was our birthday, we wore a Mickey Mouse hat. We also did a play called “Character Matters.” I was one of the seven dwarfs.
Fourth grade wasn’t my favorite year either. Mrs. Harker-Reid didn’t like most of the kids in my class and got angry pretty often. This was the year Roxy came to the school. She’s fun to hang out with and talk to. I did like fourth grade, because of the fun things we did. We went to Julian to explore a mine, and a few days later, we did a gold rush of our own. The theme of the year was Detective, and we performed a play, “The Missing Music Box.” We did some science this year, so we would go to the other fourth grade rooms to do fun activities, like making circuits.
Fifth grade was a good year. My teacher, Mrs. Lockwood, was really nice, even though I didn’t like her at first. The first day of school wasn’t a good day for me. I went to greet Nicole, but she didn’t say anything. I asked what was wrong, and she said she didn’t want to be my friend anymore, which made me upset. Since I lost my best friend, I didn’t have many people to hang out with and talk to, so I was just a social butterfly, going from group to group to find friends, which is how I met Aubri the Weirdo. Beside the saddest part of my fifth-grade experience, we went on a field trip to Peter Pan Junior Theatre to watch “Once Upon a Mattress.” We also did the fifth and sixth-grade play, “Don’t Know Much About History.”
Sixth grade was kinda a roller coaster. My homeroom teacher, Mrs. Powell, is a good teacher who likes pretty much all of her students. Mrs. Powell wasn’t my only teacher, though. I had Mrs. Dill, Mrs. Rossman, and Mrs. Lunde. I met Katelyn (the Rock Nerd), Nick (the Psychotic Monkey), and Tori (the Anime Nerd) this year, and they’re still my friends to this day. We did a lot of science, and our teacher gave us the assignment to write an essay and build a design for cooking a hotdog from solar energy. We also did a lot of P.E. so that we would do competitive tournaments against other sixth grade classes. There’s a website, Jupiter Grades, that we use to check our grades, and I always spell my name wrong, so I acquired the nickname “Rackelf Howers.”
Well, that’s my elementary experience. It wasn’t what I expected, but better than I thought. Now I walk out the door, knowing I will never come back to this place of awkwardness. In seventh grade, I probably won’t know what to do and be a potato about it. I know for sure I will meet new people and find new interests in my roller coaster of a life.